Friday, June 1, 2018
Catherine Hart’s SILKEN SAVAGE – Captivating Tale of the Cheyenne before Little Big Horn—a Love Story to Remember!
June is Western month on the blog and this time I’m starting with a classic!
Set in 1866, Silken Savage tells the story of 16-year-old Tanya Martin, who travels via wagon train with her family to meet her fiancé in Pueblo, the Colorado Territory, when nearly to their destination, Cheyenne warriors seize five of the women, including Tanya. The chief’s nephew, A Panther Stalks, and leader of the group, claims Tanya for his own and treats her better than the other captives who are treated brutally. Tanya, who Panther calls “Little Wildcat,” takes to Cheyenne life like a duck to water and becomes Panther’s woman, eventually his wife, planning never to go back to her old life.
Hart’s unique style makes for a captivating tale with wonderful characters and many twists and turns. The relationship between Panther and the golden girl who held his heart was certainly well done. And the action never stops. You understand the Indian-white man conflict from the Cheyenne point of view as Tanya becomes one of them, happy to be with Panther and his people. (George Custer is actually one of the characters.) Of course, Panther has a secret that will become very important.
At times, the heroine seemed too perfect, her strength and abilities nearly supernatural. First, she learns the complicated Cheyenne language in “weeks.” Then she fights off the rival Ute tribe killing and scalping a warrior. But the one that really got me was when she killed two armed men with her knife and, though pregnant, had the strength to load the dead bodies onto the men’s horses, this after she took down a 14 point buck with an arrow (and hoisted the buck up over a tree limb to “bleed out”). After that she killed a full-grown cougar and skinned both animals and preserved the hides. For a 16-year-old white teenager who’d only been in the west for a short while, it was beyond belief. And I don’t think a white girl taken captive, beaten, branded and treated as a slave, dragged around by a strip of leather around her neck, would be quick to fall in love with the Indian who did it, even if he was handsome and wanted only her.
But all this was really only at the beginning of the story—a story I could not put it down.
I recommend this one for all of you Western historical lovers, particularly those who love those half Indian heroes. This one’s a saga you won’t forget!
Hart’s Native American trilogy: